It is not uncommon in the world of MTG for cards to rise or fall in price based on specific circumstances. In some instances, a card may spike after appearing in a decklist that has a breakout performance in a tournament. In other cases, a card may spike if there seems to be a limited supply as players continue to try to buy the card in question. Today, we are going to focus on a card that saw a large spike in price thanks to its synergy with a variety of new cards that were printed.
These new cards specifically came out in the Doctor Who Commander decks. Given the range of unique mechanics that were focal points of each Commander Precon, it makes sense that cards from the past that share similar themes might see their demand increase. What’s a bit strange about the card in question spiking, though, is that it is simply a common. However, it does synergize quite well with one of the Doctor Who Commander decks in particular. Let’s take a look at this card.
Jhoira’s Timebug is an interesting card that was printed back in original Time Spiral block back in 2006-2007. It was eventually reprinted in Time Spiral: Remastered in 2021. The card was printed as a common in both sets and was never very strong. It was, however, quite on-theme with the cards from Time Spiral block. See, Jhoira’s Timebug has the ability to interact both with permanents with Time Counters on them and Suspended cards with Time Counters on them.
In original Time Spiral, Suspend cards like Durkwood Baloth saw their debut. Similarly, Vanishing cards like Aven Riftwatcher were introduced in Time Spiral block, which featured Planar Chaos and Future Sight alongside Time Spiral. Jhoira’s Timebug interacted favorably with a lot of cards from this block, as it could add Time Counters to cards with Vanishing to keep them around longer or take away Time Counters from Suspended cards to help you cast them quicker. The thing is, few cards utilizing Time Counters were printed over the years, so Jhoira’s Timebug never had much of a home outside of a Limited environment. Luckily, though, the emphasis on Time Counters in Doctor Who would change that.
An Enormous Spike
The Doctor Who Commander decks introduced a ton of new cards that utilize Time Counters. In addition, the new Time Travel mechanic makes it easier than ever to add or remove Time Counters from multiple cards at once. This is almost certainly the biggest reason why Jhoira’s Timebug saw a big spike. However, the price spike didn’t happen to the card in its traditional form.
Copies of Jhoira’s Timebug from both Time Spiral and Time Spiral: Remastered are both worth under 25 cents. Where things get interesting is with the foil versions of the card. In Time Spiral Remastered, foil copies of Jhoira’s Timebug were worth under $1 back before October 3, according to TCGplayer market price history. From around October 3 onward, the foil has been rising in price relatively steadily to where it currently sits, which is at roughly $6.
By contrast, foil copies of Jhoira’s Timebug from original Time Spiral have been worth close to $2.50 since August. Despite seeing a modest spike to almost $3 starting near October 3 once again, this price difference is significantly smaller than with the Time Spiral: Remastered version. It’s not entirely clear why the Time Spiral: Remastered version saw such a different rise in price, but what is clear is that both cards began to rise right around the same time: October 3. Unsurprisingly, October 3 is the date that the Timey-Wimey Doctor Who Commander deck was set to be previewed. Jhoira’s Timebug is clearly in high demand, so what are some ways to best abuse the card?
Read More: Top 10 Most Expensive Doctor Who MTG Cards
Maximizing the Timebug
Obviously, Jhoira’s Timebug wants to be used in conjunction with cards with Time Counters on them. There are a few ways to make sure that Jhoira’s Timebug has a bigger contribution to the game than just adding or removing a single counter from a single permanent each turn. The first and easiest way to abuse the card is by utilizing cards that untap it. From the Doctor Who Commander decks, cards like The Thirteenth Doctor can allow you to activate Jhoira’s Timebug multiple times in a turn cycle. You can also use Adric, Mathematical Genius to copy Jhoira’s Timebug’s activated ability for additional benefits.
Beyond Doctor Who cards, there are tons of ways to untap Jhoira’s Timebug in Magic. Because Jhoira’s Timebug is also an Artifact, Unwinding Clock is an excellent way to make sure you get to activate it on all other players’ turns. In multiplayer Commander games, the activations will start to add up quickly. Similarly, Seedborn Muse offers a similar effect, since Jhoira’s Timebug is also a Creature.
One thing you can do if you can activate Jhoira’s Timebug multiple times in a turn cycle is first add a Time Counter to a Suspend card, then remove a Time Counter, which benefits cards like Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. This is because Dinosaurs on a Spaceship generates a token every time a Time Counter is removed from it, so the longer it stays in exile, the better.
By adding Time Counters and removing as necessary, you can continuously reap the rewards from the card staying in exile for as long as you wish unless otherwise inhibited. This also works with cards like Aeon Chronicler and Benalish Commander. Jhoira’s Timebug certainly has some additional utility now, and it’ll be worth monitoring if foil copies of the card continue to climb in price.